lumie bedbug nightlight for babies and young children.

In many ways I love all the different seasons we have here in the UK, and the beauty that each one brings. I also love that they days are long in the summer and short as we run up to the Christmas festivities. However, trying to explain this difference to a young child can be challenging, especially at bedtime. In the summer it’s “too light” to go to bed, in the winter “it’s too dark and scary” so they want the “big light” left on. Of course leaving the main light on is not the best option when you want them to get into that ‘sleepy mode’. It’s all very confusing for them, and not something they’ll start to understand until they’re around five or six.

The very clever people at Lumie have come up with a new sleep aid for babies and young children called a Lumie Bedbug. The Bedbug has been designed to promote a calm bedtime environment and therefore a good night’s sleep.

What makes this little bedbug light so unique is that it can be used as a reading light or a nightlight, and has a genius sunset feature. The fully adjustable low-blue light allows you to choose a level of brightness that’s comfortable to read next to your child without stimulating their eyes and mind. And the 15-minute sunset feature is designed to create a gradual transition from day to night that can either fade to off or to a calming nightlight. This means that summer bedtime issues can be handled easily (as long as you have a blackout blind, of course).

This cute little bedbug light was designed by Lumie with the help of parenting expert Sarah Ockwell-Smith, author of the bestselling; The Gentle Sleep Book.

“Most nightlights that parents use in their children’s bedrooms are bad for sleep, because they inhibit the release of the sleep hormone melatonin,”

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Something’s been troubling me lately, actually it’s been playing on my mind for a while but have never thought to write it down, until now…

I’m constantly surrounded by amazing mums, these mums laugh with their children, play with them, feed them, keep them warm and love them unconditionally but given the opportunity most of these women beat themselves up for not being good enough.

I was out last night at a Mother’s Meeting event with H&M and the conversation (as it inevitably does, when mothers get together) came down to our kids and parenthood. Again and again, I heard these amazing women say things like “I work too much”, “I get too frustrated”, “I’m always on my phone”, “I feel guilty for…”

If I’m being honest, I have some of these worries too. I often lie in bed wondering why I got so angry with the girls or why I didn’t make more of an effort to read with them, that ONE night. But maybe we‘re all asking the wrong questions and focusing on the wrong things. What if we asked ourselves “Do my children feel safe and loved?” or “Are my children happy?”.

The answers to these questions are always YES, which is all that really matters. After all, who cares if we had chips and chicken nuggets for supper? They ate it all up and loved it. So I didn’t read with them tonight, I’ll do it tomorrow night and the night after and the night after that. Is it bad that Lili and Poppy watch TV every morning while I lie in bed for an extra half hour? Well, I did the same as a child and I turned out just fine.

The main thing for me is that my girls look back on their childhood and remember that we had fun and that they were loved. I want them to remember our crazy kitchen discos and silly family pile-ups, singing way too loud in the car and massive group hugs.

I think we all feel the pressure to be a ‘perfect parent’ but who is the ‘perfect parent’? Nobody, because it’s a myth, a fairy-tale, a figment of our Instagram-fuelled imagination.

So let me ask you… Are you a good mother? Don’t measure yourself against an unrealistic perfect persona that doesn’t exist. If you’re still reading this post, I can tell you that you almost certainly are! I know this because you love your children, because you do whatever it takes to keep them safe, and because when they fall and hurt themselves or feel sick it’s you they want. Nothing makes them feel better than a hug from you.

At the end of the day, the perfect parent for your child is YOU because nobody will love them like you do.


Last week Iris and I had the pleasure of welcoming the lovely Alice from Piccolo into our kitchen to cook for us. Alice is a Nutritional Therapist for the Mediterranean based baby food brand Piccolo. Iris and I have been big fans of Piccolo pouches over the past year (since she started weaning), Iris has loved the delicious taste of their vegetable and fruit based creations and I’ve been happy to know that she’s getting the nutritional benefits she needs from each pouch.

Piccolo is also a brand that gives back with their Food Education Foundation charity. With this charity Piccolo provide practical advice and help to parents (in disadvantaged areas of London) about baby nutrition and healthy eating. They run interactive and educational workshops to equip parents with the tools and knowledge to give their children a varied range of first foods – which will in turn help them establish a healthy relationship with food.

It was so interesting talking to Alice about their charity work, it’s great to hear that Piccolo is a company that’s not all about the money, they really are a brand that wants to give back and help.

Alice and I also spent time talking about food, her wealth of knowledge on nutrition and superfoods was fascinating and I felt incredibly lucky to have this brilliant opportunity.  She then cooked for us!

Here are a few of my favourite healthy, family friendly recipes from the day…

Cherry and Apple Yoghurt with Wholegrain Oats


  • 2 Pink Lady apple, peeled and chopped
  • 10 cherries, stoned and halved
  • 150g natural full fat yoghurt
  • 40g rolled oats


1.Heat the apple in a pan with a little water for 5-8 minutes until soft. For older babies (around 7 months), you can simply grate the apples.

2.Remove the apples from heat and add the cherries and oats.

3.Purée together in a blender. For a few seconds for a chunkier texture, longer for smooth yoghurt.

4.Once the mixture is cool, stir in the yoghurt.


Flatbread Pizza


2 Corn or whole wheat tortillas/flatbread

2 tbsp Passata

Around 50g mix veg such as sweetcorn, peppers, tomatoes and/or grated courgettes

20g grated Cheddar cheese



1.Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F/ Gas mark 4.

2.Simply spread Passata on one side of flatbread or tortilla. Add vegetables then top with grated cheese. Place in the oven for 8 minutes. Serve with cucumber and carrot batons.


Savoury Flapjack


200 g/7oz porridge oats

200 g/7oz grated carrot

200 g/7oz grated courgette

200 g/7oz Grana Padano or Cheddar cheese, grated

2 eggs beaten

1 tsp grainy mustard

1 tsp dried mixed herbs


1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/ 375°F/ Gas mark 5.

2. Grease a baking tray (Swiss roll tin size). Mix all the ingredients in the large bowl and press into the tray.

3. Bake 25-30 minutes, until set and lightly browned.


Now that Iris is past her first birthday it’s time for her to move on to her first bike… okay maybe not a bicycle, more a tricycle.

We were recently sent a SmarTrike Infinity 5 in 1 Tricycle to try. We actually had the box for a few weeks before we set about putting the trike together as we had five weeks (yes, five!) of chickenpox (one girl after another). It was a pretty frustrating time, as we weren’t able to leave the house and all we wanted to do was get out and have some fun. Anyway, after many weeks of looking at the box Dom finally assembled the trike last weekend, which he said was remarkably quick and easy.

So what makes this a “5 in 1” trike?

It’s actually a five phase buggy that turns into a trike. The Infinity Trike is suitable for babies from 10 months – the younger the baby, the more the trike is like a buggy. The ‘first phase’ has a reclining seat, a full harness and an additional safety bar protection. The ‘second phase’ has an upright seat position, which gives your baby the ability to hold onto the handle bar and play with the toy phone. In both these phases, the baby doesn’t use the pedals – they use a footrest and there’s a steering handle (with five different handle heights) for us parents, to easily push the trike/ buggy around.

As your baby gets older the real transformation occurs. At 18 months you remove the canopy (this is phase 3) and at two years the footrest is removed and replaced with pedals (this is phase 4). The fifth and final phase is to remove the parent steering handle and let your toddler free to roam the land on his/her own. The buggy is now a trike!

As we are now fully clear of any chickenpox (thank goodness) and the sun’s out, we decided to introduce Iris to her new set of wheels. We positioned the trike at phase 2, so that Iris could sit up and make the most of the little toy phone in front of her, which she loved, along with the comfy, padded seat and the sturdy safety harness. On a personal not, I loved the on-board storage and spacious bag that’s fixed to the back of the steering handle.

Having tested the SmartTrike Infinity at phase 2, I can tell you that this is a great buggy alternative. Most of our wheeled toys stay in the garden or sit in the shed but this one is practical and can definitely be used outside of our garden walls.

Most importantly, Iris loved it!! On our first trip to the park she beamed with delight, looking around like she was seeing the world in a new ‘more grown up’ way. She sat upright, holding onto the handlebars and looking so proud of herself. As if she was in full control of this little vehicle of hers. Of course, she was not in control but I think it made a welcome relief from her usual buggy.

This Infinity SmartTrike comes in grey, red, blue and purple and costs £129.99 from Toys R Us. I think it would make an excellent first birthday present, if you’re struggling for ideas for yourself or for grandparents.

Disclaimer: We were sent this SmarTrike Infinity 5 in 1 Tricycle in return for an honest review.

My girls are all good sleepers, thank goodness! I need my sleep and wouldn’t be happy getting up a few times a night. Equally, I need some chill-out child free time in the evening (to catch up on my favourite TV programs and just unwind), so bed time has to be at a decent time, without fuss. And on the whole we manage this (most nights). How? Well for me establishing a good, firm bedtime routine early on is the answer.

Here’s how we’ve managed this with all three girls, more recently of course with baby Iris. 

I once read that a baby/ young toddler typically needs 12 hours sleep per night, so you need to work it back from when they usually wake up. If like Iris it’s 7am, then 7pm is a good bedtime.

As for getting your baby to bed, a routine should to start by allowing your child a cot/bed of their own, and getting them used to self-soothing so that they have the ability to get themselves to sleep in a relaxed way. Iris went into her ‘big cot’ at six months, which is when we started to establish this  more firm, yet warm and calm approach.

Iris’ routine includes; a bath, some warm milk, a song or book (if she’s not too drowsy from the milk) and then bed. We try to make it a fun, cosy time for her – making it clear she has my (or my husband’s) full attention.

I go through this little routine and then leave the room to deal with my other two little monkeys. If she sits up straight away and cries, I’ll keep comforting her but from that point on I have less physical interaction, no long cuddles, just a quick reassuring hug and kiss and then I walk away again.

Tip… If your baby seems to be afraid of the dark or being alone, try low lighting, a special teddy (maybe one that lights up), or a low background noise such as a soothing nursery rhyme.

Remember you’re in charge, and if you stick to it, it should work! I fully understand this is firm (but I stress, calm) approach is not for everyone but I can testify it’s worked for us, three times now! During the day I don’t really have a routine and am much more relaxed, letting the kids do what comes naturally but bed time is different. At bed time I’m in charge and they accept it because they don’t know any different.

Iris is wearing an aden+anais sleeping bag in these pictures. We’re big fans of aden+anais and these sleeping bags are made of the same beautifuly soft, cotton muslin used in their famous swaddle blankets and muslin squares.